Optimistic attitude lowers risk of heart failure
People with higher levels of optimism may be less at risk for heart failure than those who are more pessimistic, according to new research.
In the study, optimism was defined as “an expectation that positive things will happen.” Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University examined the relationship between optimism and heart failure diagnoses in older adults, since statistics show that people aged 65 years and older are most prone to heart failure diagnoses. Researchers collected data of more than 6,800 older adults, including healthy history, background information and psychological data over the course of four years. They also took into account factors that could affect heart failure risk, such as chronic illnesses and demographic factors.
The findings, published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, showed that the adults who had higher levels of optimism reduced their risk of heart failure by 73 percent. Researchers said that it remains unclear whether optimism may cause people to make healthier lifestyle choices; regardless, they concluded that a combination of the two could be instrumental in preventing heart failure.